Gov. Rick Scott signs bill cutting vehicle fees

Bill will save Floridians about $25 on each vehicle registration fee


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Wednesday morning that will save Floridian motorists money.

The bill will lower registration fees on your vehicle, saving about $25 per vehicle for tags renewed after Sept. 1, 2014. But people who paid a year in advance won't get a refund.

"This will result in an annual savings of $25 per typical motor vehicle and will let families keep nearly $400 million of their hard-earned money in their own pockets, because it's their money," said Scott.

No matter what size the car, you eventually will save some money. Small car fees will go down by $5, mid-size will go down $8 and large vehicle fees will go down by $11.50.

Many people in Florida won't be getting that discount right away. Since September 2013, nearly 600,000 people have purchased a two-year sticker, meaning they're not up for renewal until 2015 and 2016. The legislation said those people will not get refunds, which some lawmakers are not happy about.

"I call it a shame… A dirty shame," said Rep. Janet Cruz.

Democratic Rep. Janet Cruz from Tampa is one of those who is skeptical about the new bill.

"I'm happy that the tax is being reduced, but I think that we need to take a look at those folks that bought a two-year tag that were offered by us," said Cruz.

Rep. Mike Hill from Pensacola is the original Republican sponsor, and even he questions the bill, saying everyone deserves a refund.

"I'm just glad we can at least press on, press forward with getting it done. But you're right that is an issue with those who have paid for two years. What about them?" Hill said.

Giving everyone a refund who has at least a year left on their tag when rates go down in September will cost the state about $15 million.

Rep. Debbie Mayfield, of Vero Beach, voted for the hike at the height of the recession back in 2009, but also feels those 600,000 plus people should also save money.

"Some of the people that had renewed their license for the two-year period, paid the lower fee for two years, at the time other people paid the increase. And now it's just going back the opposite way," said Mayfield.

At the signing, Scott said he was sending a letter to county tax collectors urging them to have people renewing their registration before September to only pay for one year.

Governor Scott also sent a letter to the tax collectors encouraging Floridians who require a registration renewal before September 1 to only register for one year. To view the Governor's letter to the tax collectors.

Some other bills that will be brought up during the legislative session involve guns. One would allow trained school officials to carry a weapon; this bill being a direct response to the Sandy Hook tragedy.

Another is a bill that would allow warning shots and ease zero tolerance for kids who make gun like gestures in school. Mothers and mayors are expected to be protest that bill Wednesday.